Back to Snowdonia and beyond
25.06.2011 - 30.06.2011
It was a drizzly day, and I headed out for Snowdonia National Park. On way I stooped at a place called Ugly House which I thought was rather rustic and cute. I went to Betws-y-Coed which means a chapel in the woods. It is a cute but very touristy little village complete with huge bus loads of tourist. I walked around a bit, but soon headed out to see a Welsh farmhouse way out in the country on an old drover's road. A Bishop William Morgan lived here while he translated the Bible into Welsh. The house was very small and underscored the simple yet busy lives people must have lived. There was no glass in the windows, just shutters . . . Brrrrrr. The setting was beautiful - I wondered it they drove cattle or sheep along the drover's road. my last adventure that day was to find a set of standing stones, but I would have had to go onto private property -- pretty common around here -- but I was uncomfortable and it was very remote.
The next day, sunny and bright, I headed out to the Llyn Penninsula to the south of Caernarfon. I spent most of the day driving around. the views were spectacular. I wanted to visit a National Trust property called Plas yn Rhiw- a restored cottage, but I was too early. I then went into the seaside town of Cricceith to see the castle. This castle is vastly ruined by quite picturesque just the same. Back toward Caernarfon, I stopped at a place called Glyniffon Manor. It sounds an awful lot like Glenowen to my untrained ear, so I was hoping to find the place that inspired Eleanor Sleath to write her novella Glenowen. The house there was too late for Sleath to have seen it, it is a Georgian estate with columns and statues flanking the front. The house that was there in 1810 - 1815 was brick. The grounds had an arboretum, grottoes, and damp cavelike ferneries. I do so wish it was the inspiration.
I checked out of the Black Boy Inn on the 30th and headed up the coast taking the long was to Aberystwyth. My first stop was Rhuddlan Castle where I was alone. I was able to say, not shout, for Ryan: "I fart in your general direction!" This castle was less ruined than Cricceith, and was interesting to see. Next was Valle Crucis Abbey which was a spectacular set of ruins, very picturesque as long as you disregard the caravan park next door - within a stone's through, actually.
My next stop was Powis Castle -- more of a Tudor fortified palace - with terraced garden. After all of the gray-toned buildings in Wales, the terra-cotta color of Powis Catle was nice. The gardens were lush with fragrant plants -- many I had never seen before. I had a snack in the little cafeteria and then went into them palace. There was only one room restored to the original Tudor style with most of the house stuffed Victorian style. there were magnificent paintings and decorations.
I arrived at my new hotel The George Borrow Hotel tired, but was greeted warmly.